Haven - John A. Snively Sr., a pioneer in the development of the
Florida citrus industry, died at Winter Haven Hospital yesterday
afternoon after an illness of several months. He would have been 68 in
Snively was president of Snively Groves, Inc. and had lived in Winter Haven since 1911. His home, "Long Shadows" on the shores of Lake Eloise is a show place of Eloise Woods section.
Funeral services will be held at 3 tomorrow in the First Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. Dr. Robert B. Hamilton, pastor, officiating. Assisting will be Dr. Robert McLeod, former pastor of First Presbyterian Church and now pastor of the Fort Lauderdale First Presbyterian Church.
Burial will be in Lakeside Memorial Park.
The family has requested that persons not wishing to send flowers make contributions to five Winter Haven charties, The Winter Haven Boy's Club, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts groups of Winter Haven and the Winter Haven Hospital Welfare Fund.
Survivors include his wife, Dorothy DeHaven Snively; 2 daughters, Mrs. R. H. (Evelyn) Hoskins,Jr. Winter Haven, and Mrs. I. C. ( Avis ) Connor, Waycross, Ga.; 1 son, John A. Snively, Jr.; 7 grandchildren., also 4 sisters, Mrs. Ruth Snively, Washington, D.C.; Mrs. W. W. Giddings, Winter Haven; Mrs. Clyde Fisher, Schellsburg, Pa. and Mrs. Dave Daughtery, Shanksville, Pa.; 3 brothers, Thomas V. Snively, Sr. and H. B. "Pete" Snively, both of Winter Haven; and William S. Snively, Schellsburg, Pa.
Mr. Snively was born in Schellsburg, Pa., the son of the late Frank B. and Laura Irvin Snively. He came to Winter Haven at the age of 21 and immediately set his eyes on the growth of citrus.
John died a nationally known citrus grower, shipper and processor. A 10 acre grove in Eloise area, which later became his business site, was the start of the extensive operations of which he became a bulwark.
Snively was the founder of Polk Packing Association and at the time of his death was president of Snively Groves, Inc. sucessor to the original enterprise.
During his growth as a citrus leader he served in varied activities, including being a director of the Florida Citrus Trade Association, past president of the Co-Operative Fruit and Vegetable Association of Washington, D. C., director of the Travares and Gulf Coast Railroad, past director of the Winter Haven Exchange National Bank which he served for 30 years, and president and director of the Haven Villa Corporative. The latter was one of the early land holding and development corporations responsible for buildng up many subdivisions, the two most prominent being Inwood and Eloise Woods.
In his business dealings the elder Snively was reported to be outspoken and sometimes gruff, according to friends and associates. However under the stern exterior was a humanitarian heart, the same persons said.
Snively was particularly interested in the welfare of youth, as evidenced by a dying request that donations be made to his 5 favorite charities, 4 of which are youth groups.
Deeply interested in health welfare of the community, Snively never sought publicity.
Always interested in community affairs which affected Winter Haven and Eloise, Snively became active on the political scene when serving on the city commission in 1938, 1939 and 1940.
During his tenure as commissioner, Winter Haven was under going financial difficulties due to boom time bone debts. It was then the citrus leader became instrumental in reducing the city's indebtedness, eventually being responsible for enhancing the credit of Winter Haven.
Snively's activity in the citrus industry parallelel its growth but he never lost a personal touch with his employees.
When fire destroyed his vast holdings including the original packing house on June 16, 1950, Snively immediately started rebuilding His explanation was ; " One of our principal considerations in our decision to rebuild was the fact that we had so many employees depending upon us for a livelihood; therefore we decided not only to rebuild, but to build the best facilities in the state."
( Lakeland Ledger, Thursday, Jan. 22, 1953 )